😲🦠Gene-tically Splicing Our Way to COVID-Resistance?🧬✂️

TL;DR: Dr. Neville Sanjana and team use CRISPR magic to discover which genes might just give us the upper hand against SARS-CoV-2. And guess what? A high blood pressure med might just do the trick. 💊🎉

Imagine walking through a city where everyone’s CRISPR edited to resist the notorious SARS-CoV-2. 🌆 Sound like sci-fi? Well, Dr. Neville Sanjana, from the swanky New York Genome Center and New York University, decided to dive deep and find out just which of our genes might turn us into COVID-19 superheroes. 💪🧬

“Wait, what? How do genes make someone a COVID-hero?” 🤨

Good question, dear reader! So here’s the breakdown: Our bodies are made up of billions of cells, each packing a copy of the human genome. These genes determine everything from your love for pineapple pizza 🍍🍕 to your vulnerability to certain diseases.

Sanjana was all about the big question: Which genes act like shields, protecting our cells from that pesky virus? His trusty sidekick in this adventure? CRISPR. Yes, the same tool that promises to edit out genetic disorders was used here to disable every. single. gene. in human lung cells, where SARS-CoV-2 loves to party.

Together with the brilliant Benjamin tenOever, Ph.D., they introduced Mr. Virus (SARS-CoV-2) to these edited cells. And bingo! They found some genes, when knocked out, turned cells into SARS-CoV-2 resisting warriors. Others? Not so much. 🥳🛡️

If you’re thinking, “Oh, I’ve heard of the ACE-2 receptor thingy,” then pat yourself on the back! 👏 It did make the list. But here’s the twist: they also found some genes that were like hidden Easter eggs, playing a role in infection but flying under the radar until now. And these genes weren’t just chilling in the lungs; they were partying in other organs too. (So that’s how the virus gatecrashes other parts of our body! 🤔)

But hold on, our story doesn’t end here. What’s knowledge without a little action? The team went hunting for drugs that could block these top-ranking genes. Enter amlodipine – a drug you might find in your grandpa’s medicine cabinet for high blood pressure. Turns out, this old-timer might just be a weapon against COVID-19. 💊🔫

But remember, this isn’t a suggestion to raid medicine cabinets. It’s just a fun, thought-provoking dive into the depths of genetics and its role in COVID-19. The grand takeaway? Knowing our genes might just be the cheat code to fighting this virus. 🎮🔍

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Always consult with a medical professional before making health decisions.

💭But now we leave you with a thought: If we had the power to edit our genes to resist certain viruses, where do we draw the line? And what else might we be tempted to change? 🤯🔧🧬